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What do Changing Age Demographics Mean for Hotels & Restaurants?

It's no great secret, the average age of people in the United States is rising. In 2020, for the first time, there will be more people age 65 and over than children under the age of 5. And according to some estimates, seniors over 65 will make up nearly 22% of the U.S. population by 2040 ("up from 14.9% in 2015"). While younger populations are still a huge market, it's going to be increasingly important for hospitality businesses to also appeal to older demographics.

So what should hotels and restaurants do to make sure that older customers can be comfortable? Luckily, individuals with experience in design are already preparing for the changing demographics. According to the New York Times, architectural firm Corgan is conducting research in airports and hotels that could help the hospitality industry make design choices that help make it easier for aging customers to navigate spaces. Simple changes such as avoiding shiny flooring (which can appear wet, and like a slipping hazard) and making signs more easily legible can make a big difference for a customer's experience.

Of course, don't forget that your restaurant should be ADA compliant as well, to accommodate those that use wheelchairs or walkers to move around. Having wide walkways is not only friendly to customers, its also legally required in most cases. The New York Times has a complete run down of the ways in which demographics are changing, and more suggestions for adapting.

Source: New York Times